June 21, 2016

A Nothing Day Today

Nothing too exciting today here in 'the tropics'. The day started slower than slow and didn't end much faster as the photos will show.

There were a few minor changes today ... some to this blog, some additions to my Feedly account, some more ideas of traveling with Stella and general day dreaming.

The biggest and most enjoyable change today was the "heat index". That dropped around 15° and made a huge difference in the comfort level inside and out. Less air conditioning was ran today and the afternoon hound walk was more enjoyable ... even at a leisure pace.

Sadie was giving me that "stare" to walk this morning but at the time I took this photo I had not had my first cup of coffee ... so we weren't walking anywhere, except back inside to pour that first cup.

I saw a lot of blue skies today but it had a feel of being overcast most of the day. The rain is unpredictable but that doesn't really matter while all of us hide out inside to escape the afternoon heat.

Not sure where he was head but he had highway traffic backed up longer than the traffic laws allow and really nowhere to pull off to the side if he passed the intersection just in front of him. He passed that turnoff and the line of traffic slowly passed by the house.

After the hounds had lunch we did the normal trip outside. Heidi wasn't out longer than 5 minutes before she headed back to the door for me to let her inside. Stella decided she would sleep there because she was sleeping right before lunch ... she likes sleeping anywhere.

Sometime a little before 4pm I decided to do the afternoon walk. The weather seemed okay temperature wise outside, I needed something to do and the hounds are willing to walk anytime I grab the camera and say "lets go".

It might be just me but it seems that since the field has been cut and baled, the hounds spend more time with their noses in the ground than anywhere else.

Stella wasn't happy that I called her before she could walk into those woods. She started my direction but took her sweet ass time doing it. She has been pretty stubborn this week for some reason.

I did one more look at this last roll of hay they had here and there is not a string to bind it with anywhere. Just a roll of hay that is slowly falling apart.

Stella made one last attempt to sneak off into her "no fly zone" but once again slowly walked in my direction when I called her. When I say slow, I mean slower than slow. I've never seen a hound that walks as slow as she does.

They brought the red trailer last night right after we finished our walk. Probably a good thing because Stella would have been real interested in meeting their springer spaniel they had in back of their truck. Something seems to be wrong with the tractor but didn't see anyone today working on it, the few times I looked in that direction.

I've been thinking today of going back to a vegetarian diet. Last year I started Paleo Diet and lost a little over 20 pounds but never felt comfortable eating as much bacon and red meat as they recommended. I've been adding brown rice back to my diet which the past 6 months has had more chicken and salmon and less red meat.

As you see I started playing with the blog template today. From the choices of Blogger templates there isn't one that gives me everything I want in design but the one I changed to gave me more things I wanted than the one I have been using since January. Let me know of the fonts are too small for you to read, since I did decrease the page font one size smaller.

I am not finding any ticks on Sadie or Stella after our walks since giving them NexGard in April. They still love me though, as I pull off 4-5 after every walk. With the record heat out west, my friend in Phoenix says the scorpions are out in full force ... I think I'd rather have the war against ticks here in Southern Indiana.

It's that same time of year where I think of making some travel plans. I always wait too late and by this time it is really hot in the majority of the western states. That puts my choices up towards Montana, the Dakotas or the Pacific Northwest. I was planning to head that direction last July but Heidi became sick a few days before our departure. The vet needed for her to stay here 30 days before she could travel.

Of course last summer I had different hounds and a different combo. I handled the one bloodhound and two basset hounds with no problems in Rest Areas or off in a grassy area when refueling. All liked the tent, they slept most of the time I was on the highway.

This year Stella makes it a little different situation. One is because she is a large hound and I've gone to two bloodhounds and one basset hound. Here at home even two bloodhounds at times are hard to handle when they were both leashed when walking last fall. Plus the few times I have taken Stella with me to buy dog food in Bloomington I've let her out on a leash before we head back home.

With that store being on a busy four lane street and new surroundings, I found Stella to be a little skittish when I had her out on a leash. The traffic noise spooked her and she had the urge to take off running if I did not have her on that leash. She couldn't wait to get back inside the FJ.

Most likely a lot of her anxiety is from the times she had moved in her first six years. So if I am serious about traveling this summer, I need to load the hounds up in the FJ, with my standard 6' leashes and drive about 70 miles to the freeway and head to the nearest Rest Area to see how Stella would handle that. I know Sadie and Heidi would do okay in a Rest Area stop.

I think I'll go study cameras and see if it would be worth buying the Nikon D3300 at a discount price since they are discontinuing that model this summer.

Overall it was slow but a good day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

June 20, 2016

Today Was Too Hot

Sometime around 10am Stella decided it was time for a morning walk before it got really hot ... we could leave right after she found that spot to itch.

They are both finding new stuff since the field has been baled. It is a lot easier to keep track of them now and one other thing is different on these morning walks.

Whereas a few days ago shade meant wet tall grass, now shaded areas mean it's a few degrees cooler and my feet are no longer getting wet. It didn't matter to the hounds, they followed the same paths and routines.

Here is an example of some of the hay they left behind.

This spot has been stopped at now every walk. I went over to see what was so good and found nothing ... not a thing.

This guy kept flying back and forth over the top of us but this was the only place my camera would focus to take a photo of him. You can barely see him near the top. He had a large wing span and I was pretty sure he was concerned the hounds might find what he was having for lunch, since I saw him take off from ground level.

They are not using the plastic netting this year but a few strands of baling string to hold the rolls of hay together. That last roll they did didn't have any string holding it.

With the temps as hot as they are, Heidi will come outside to dump tanks but no longer than that. She still lives by her 70° threshold even in during the summer heat.

After lunch it was so hot that Stella didn't get any further than this, turned around and headed back inside the house where the air conditioners was keep the house much much cooler than outside. She is smarter than she looks.

It wasn't until Sadie's stare down to walk, past 7:30pm, did we venture outside. By the time we got this far I realized it was much hotter than I thought it would be. Wunderground said it was 87° and a heat index of 98° ... they were right.

Not even half way through the walk, tongues are dragging.

Still time to check out one spot before they come inside. It looks like Sadie is not willing to share this spot.

We are suppose to have thunderstorms within the next couple of hours but weather radar doesn't show any storms west or southwest of us ... the normal path. So we will see what tonight brings as far as rain and hopefully some cooler temps.

Today the heat made us hibernate inside while enjoying 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

A Roll Of Hay Scares Stella

Sunday morning started hot and muggy as soon as I went out side until past midnight. I was pretty sure they would be back to bale this hay Sunday afternoon with possible rain on Monday.

With their field cut, Sadie and Stella had to investigate all of the new smells and any animals that were hiding under the hay. I found one on the walk yesterday afternoon that looked like a mole. It was squeaking as Sadie poked it with her nose.

It's easier for me to see them and now I can tell where they were going recently when I couldn't find them. They were getting pretty far away and out in the center of the immediate area.

Stella continued her morning exploration around the edge of the property, moving along the edge of the yard and trees.

On the border of the grass and river rock is a large mole track where they have pushed up dirt and about 4" of rock. It might be time to spread some grub worm killer today before it rains.

By the time they had finished lunch it was scorching hot and you could smell the hay even more as it dried out.

Heidi is still refusing to walk in the field but does get outside for her normal trips. I was looking back through photos of her in her file and her skin has stabilized this past year. Many months there is not that much difference in appearance with occasional flare ups.

While sitting at the kitchen table playing Mahjong and staying cool with the AC running at 100% I saw a small tractor with a rake on the back then another pulling a baler ... I was hoping they were coming to the field.

The confusion I had was they were coming from the opposite direction from where they live. They do not live near here. I am pretty sure it's the same farmers that baled it last year. My neighbor that lives a couple of houses north of me owns the field and lets one of his friends take the hay.

It was good to look out the window and see they were in the process of raking it and baling it at the same time. I'm not sure if their baler was out of adjustment, needed a tune up or what (I'm not a farmer) but it was not picking up all the hay as it moved through the field.

It looks like they have a new tractor this year but I couldn't get close enough quick enough to see the company label.

On the second lap, that baler backed up a little bit and dropped a large roll of hay close to the yard. After they were finished the hounds and I went out to inspect. Stella didn't know what it was.

Stella figured if she barked and howled at it, that it might go away but it didn't move.

She is still suspicious of it.

It was early in the afternoon, around 3:30pm and really hot ... but the hounds wanted their afternoon walk.

Here you can see the path we made this past year. That path to the left was made by Sadie as she would veer off as we walked back to the house.

This is where I think I saw the mole. I heard it and Sadie refused to move so I walked back to see what she had found. I am not sure why I didn't get photos of it.

Stella was on her own time ... you can see some of the hay they left behind. Not quite enough that would make a whole roll but if they would make another pass just to pick up the hay they left it would be an amount worth doing. It's more than I have ever seen left in the field.

With this front and rear loader they can move two rolls at one time. I noticed they had moved 7 rolls off to the opposite side of the field and had 10 more rolls to move. Last year they brought in a long trailer and hauled all 16 rolls out of the field. This almost makes me wonder if it is someone different this year getting the hay.

As we got back from our walk yesterday afternoon, both Sadie and Stella had to make one final pass around that roll of hay next to the yard and make sure nothing else was in the yard before they would come inside.

At 10:45pm last night it was still 82° and humid ... this morning at 6:30am it didn't feel much different.

It was a good weekend in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.